September 6, 2008

Afghan Human Rights Office Concerned Over Health Situation in North

Text of report by privately-owned Afghan Ariana TV on 5 September

[Presenter] Human Rights Commission in northern Badakhshan Province has issued a report expressing concern over health situation in northern Badakhshan Province. According to the report, over 40 people, including women and children, have died of various epidemic diseases in remote areas of the province. However, the provincial health officials have rejected the report by the Human Rights Commission. They confirmed the existence of some problems and shortage of professional staff and health facilities in some areas of the province but expressed unawareness about the outbreak of an epidemic in which dozens of had died. My colleague Mohammad Qasim Nasrullahi has more details on this.

[Correspondent] The report by the provincial office of human rights commission says over the last two months around 22 people have died of an epidemic disease in Wakhan, seven in Zebak and over 10 children in Koran wa Monjan districts of Badakhshan. Speaking on the issue, Hamidullah Paiyman, the officer in charge of health and education at the human rights commission said the health centres in the area were not functioning and now dozens of people were threatened with epidemic disease in the mentioned districts.

[A human rights official] We are worried about the health situation in Wakhan, Zebak, and Koran wa Monjan districts of Badakhshan. The reports show that the outbreak of some epidemic disease threaten lives of hundreds of people. Dozens of people, including children and women have so far died of the diseases.

[Correspondent] On the other hand, Dr Abdol Momen Jalali, head of Badakhshan health department, has accepted problems related to the shortage of professional staff and health facilities but he rejected the report by the human rights body.

Badakhshan is a mountainous province with many inaccessible areas where the people do not have sufficient health facilities. Some people walk for hours through mountainous areas to reach the provincial capital. Lack of good road and transportation facilities have created several problems for aid agencies in this province.

Originally published by Ariana TV, Kabul, in Dari 1530 5 Sep 08.

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